Titans shouldn't overrate Mike Mularkey's relationship with Marcus Mariota

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans CEO and president Steve Underwood rated Mike Mularkey’s relationship with Marcus Mariota as one reason the team is considering the interim coach for the full time position.

“You look at the wins and losses, you look at his relationship with the centerpiece of our franchise, our young quarterback,” Underwood said of Mularkey’s candidacy. “You look at how our players see him and view him as a head coach, how he interacts with his staff, how he interacted with Ruston [Webster], what obstacles he faced in trying to use a system that was someone else’s design that he then had to work with in game-planning and so forth, what adjustments he made that he could make in that system to try and be successful.

“I think there are so many things that need to be looked at in evaluating him and other interim head coaches so that you don’t short yourself by eliminating someone just because they were an interim and just because they didn’t have huge success as an interim in terms of wins and losses.”

I understand why the team will consider Mularkey.

But a nine-game relationship with Mariota should not be a factor.

It’s not such a long relationship that another coach can’t make up the difference. And it’s not as if Mariota is tough to get along with.

The quarterback is big on trust, but he’s also super-accepting.

Whoever coaches the Titans next year will have a good relationship with Mariota, because he’s a good quarterback who respects authority and is eager to please.

Mularkey did good work building a relationship with Mariota, but that element of his résumé can be easily matched in short order.